"A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired." Prov. 17:22 (Message)
I came across this today, just a couple of hours after finding this article on laughter:
THE BENEFITS OF LAUGHTER
Feeling stressed or under the weather? A good old-fashioned belly-laugh is a proven pick-me-up in more ways than one - and there are plenty of failsafe ways to get giggling, no matter how low your mood. Here's all you need to know about the benefits of laughter - and how to get more into your life...
1. Laugh to banish stress.
You know how a good laugh can make you feel better about pretty much any situation? There's actually a scientific reason for this. Research shows that laughter triggers the release of feel-good endorphins into the bloodstream, while levels of stress hormones fall. The result? You start to relax.
A woman walks into a bar and asked for a double entendre. So the landlord gives her one.
2. Laugh when you wake up
Do you grimace when the alarm clock goes off in the morning? Try laughing instead. And if getting out of bed at 7am doesn't seem even remotely amusing, just fake a smile. 'If you make yourself smile or laugh, you'll trick your brain into thinking you're happy, and get your day off to a good start,' says laughter therapist Joe Hoare.
Two fish in a tank. One turns to the other and says, 'How do we drive this thing?'
3. Laugh to boost your heart
Want a good reason to sit down and watch your favourite funny film or sitcom? Be our guest! Watching comedy is good for the heart because it boosts blood flow, according to researchers from the University of Maryland in the US. It's thought that the act of laughing widens the arteries - whereas mental stress is known to narrow them.
Two men are sitting at a bar. One screams to the other, 'I slept with your mother!' The pub falls silent. And the other man says: 'Go home, Dad - you're drunk.'
4. Laugh to cure a cold
If you're suffering from the sniffles, allow us to prescribe a healthy dose of The Inbetweeners or Outnumbered. Medical research scientist Dr Lee Berk has discovered that the physiological effects of laughter can help combat viruses and bacteria, as well as increase the antibodies that fight colds and upper respiratory tract infections.
An old lady takes her dog to the vet's. 'I'm sorry,' says the vet. 'I'm going to have to put him down.' 'But why?' shrieks the old lady. 'Because he's too heavy,' the vet explains.
5. Laugh to boost your appetite
If you feel too stressed to eat properly, it's high time you had a giggle. People who watch funny movies or comedy acts experience the same hormonal changes that follow exercise and are believed to heighten appetite, according to more US research carried out by Dr Lee Berk.
Question: What's brown and sticky? Answer: A stick.
6. Laugh for your lungs
Need an excuse to skip the gym and go out with your friends instead? A 20-second belly laugh can be as beneficial for your lungs as three minutes on a rowing machine, according to researchers at the University of Michigan. Oh, and it can help strengthen your tummy muscles, too.
Question: What's green, has four legs, and will kill you if it falls out of a tree on to your head? Answer: A snooker table.
7. Laugh with a good book
Can't find anything to laugh at? It's time to visit the 'Humour' section of your local bookshop or library: a quick flick through the joke books should do the trick. Or revisit one of your favourite giggle-inducing novels. Our picks? What A Carve Up! by Jonathan Coe or Starter For Ten by David Nicholls. You can also find out more about the science of comedy in Laughter: A Scientific Investigation by Professor Robert Provine.
An Englishman, Scotsman and Irishman go into a pub - and the landlord says, 'Is this some kind of joke?'
8. Laugh with other people
It sounds silly but you can actually join a class to learn how to laugh - and how to use this skill to boost your day-to-day health and wellbeing. Laughter therapy and 'laughter yoga' courses are springing up around the UK: for more details, check out www.laughternetwork.co.uk or www.laughingmatters.co.uk.
A penguin goes into a pub and asks, 'Has my brother been in?' 'I don't know,' says the landlord. 'What does he look like?'
9. Laugh at yourself
Get out of your comfort zone and do something spontaneous and silly to spur on the giggles and boost your mood.
Hmmm. That last one might be a bit of a challenge if you're so down in the dumps that you need a mood-booster!